At the NBA Draft Combine, Jalen Maxwell measured in at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds. Decent size, but he was hardly on the NBA’s radar after playing four years as a mid-major program that was rarely featured on ESPN. Maxwell could do a little bit of everything – shoot, pass & defend. He simply needed to be given a chance and he knew he could stick around for longer than a cup of coffee.
His pre-draft workouts featured a reoccurring theme…the NBA was full of players just like him. GM after GM explained how the NBA was loaded with 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove themselves. What made Maxwell any different?
Workout after workout, Maxwell left with a smile on his face.
Ronald Lewis starred at a small college for four years, but was hardly a lock to make the NBA. Standing 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, he measured well enough at the NBA Draft Combine, but would well enough cut it? Lewis knew he could shoot, pass and defend at a high level but could he convince the NBA decision makers that he belonged in their league?
Lewis had multiple pre-draft workouts, and each time he heard the same thing…the NBA was full of players just like him. All the coaches and GMs he met with made it very clear that their league had its share of 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove themselves.
Workout after workout, Lewis left with a dejected look on his face.
Story #1 vs. Story #2
Each story is an example of a person’s response to hearing the same news – the place they longed to be already featured people just like them. Both Jalen and Ronald desperately wanted to play in the NBA, and their potential future employers made it very clear that the NBA is loaded with people of similar size and skill-set.
So why does Jalen leave the meetings with a smile, while Ronald leaves with a frown?
Jalen hears the news and interprets it to mean that he belongs. The NBA is full of 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove themselves. He is a 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove himself, which means he is perfect for the league.
Ronald hears the news and takes it to mean that all the slots are already full. The NBA is overflowing with 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove themselves. He is a 6-foot-5 shooting guards looking to prove himself, which means that his competition has already beat him to the punch.
No matter what you want to do in life, there is a great chance that someone just like you has already done it. You can either look at that as a sign that you belong or a barrier that means the positions are already filled.
The choice is yours.
*Both players are fictional characters
Photo credit: Wikipedia